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Best Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Charters in British Columbia

Top Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Charters in British Columbia

Salmon (Chinook)

Salmon (Chinook)

  • Size 10-50 lbs
  • Food Value Excellent
  • Game Qualities Good
  • Habitats Inshore, Lake, River, Nearshore

Salmon (Chinook) Fishing in British Columbia

The world class Salmon fishing British Columbia is known for lives up to its reputation. Chinook Salmon, the largest of the Pacific species, is just one out of five different kinds of Salmon you can hook into here. This bad boy is biting all year and can reach up to 60 lbs in size. Add to that a list of Coho, Sockeye, Chum, and Pink Salmon, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for unbeatable sport fishing.

When to fish for Salmon in British Columbia

The Salmon fishing BC yields each year is full of non-stop action. Every species has its own seasonality, but you can expect to hook into multiple kinds while fishing in summer and fall—when you will also find some of the largest specimens.

Chinook Salmon, also known locally as Spring Salmon, range from 3-60 lbs in size. Even in winter and spring, this fish is plentiful. Early in the year, you will find Chinook less than 10 miles from shore.

Chinook weighing more than 30 lbs are called “Tyees,” and they usually make an appearance in July and August. Tyees are known for putting up a spectacular fight, which makes this fish number-one on many bucket lists.

Despite the Chinook’s impressive reputation, the hardest fighting Salmon pound-for-pound is Coho (also called Silver Salmon). Die-hard light tackle fishing fans start targeting Coho in June, eager to witness his swift and acrobatic fighting power.

Coho Salmon stick around through October, when some specimens reach up to 10 lbs in size. At this time of year you can enter the Coho Derby for a chance to keep up to four Coho in a day.

In late summer and fall you can also enjoy fishing for Pink, Chum, and Sockeye Salmon (the last of these being the most delicious of all the BC varieties). These species see a much shorter season than Chinook and Coho. You can only fish for Pink Salmon in odd-number years.

While you are welcome to fish for Salmon at any time, you cannot always keep them. Keep an eye out for seasonal closures, size limits, and bag limits so you know what to expect before heading out on the water. You can learn more about different species and regulations online.

The BC Salmon Fishing Experience

You can enjoy excellent Salmon fishing in British Columbia no matter your travel plans or budget, from a remote getaway to a half day trip just minutes from the center of town.

Fly-in Fishing Lodges
Hardcore anglers can choose from dozens of BC Salmon fishing lodges, many accessible only by plane. These angler-centric resorts allow you to book a guided excursion in remote wilderness, where you will spend days on end reaping the rewards of British Columbia’s world class fishery.
The Queen Charlotte Islands on BC’s north coast are a popular destination for Salmon fishing lodges. Most notably, Langara Island at the northernmost tip of the islands is known for producing 60+ lb Tyees in summer.
Day Trips
If you plan on Salmon fishing in BC on a tighter budget, you’ll find no shortage of half day and full day charters on Vancouver Island. Fishing from Tofino, Ucluelet, Port Renfrew, Sooke, or Victoria gives you almost immediate access to the Strait of San Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean.
Of course, there’s no place like the province capital to experience some of the best Salmon fishing British Columbia has to offer. You will find plenty of Vancouver Salmon fishing charters which take you through local waters such as Burrard Inlet, Howe Sound, and the Salish Sea. A trip from Vancouver to the Gulf Islands gives you a chance to target really big Chinook.
River Fishing
Set your sights on Campbell River for the best Salmon fishing Vancouver Island has in store. Located on the central-eastern coast of Vancouver Island, this “Salmon fishing capital” hosts all the local varieties, including Tyees when they’re in season.
Or seek out some BC freshwater fly fishing action in any number of rivers throughout the province. The Squamish River system north of Vancouver plays host to Pink, Chum, and Coho Salmon in late summer and fall. The Pitt River (west of Vancouver) and Fraser River (west and directly south) host magnificent runs of all five Salmon species.

BC Salmon Fishing Styles

The most common method of Salmon fishing in British Columbia is trolling. Depending on the species and the time of year, you might drag bait and lures close to the surface or deep troll in depths greater than 100 feet. Specific techniques and bait choices vary widely depending on where you fish.
“Mooching” is a more specific technique used by local fishermen which involves slow trolling a weighted line and rigged bait. Mooching keeps the line and bait at a 45-degree angle, three to five feet off the ocean floor.
Anchovies are the most popular bait for Chinook Salmon, both in shallow and deep water.
Lures such as spoons and hoochies also have their place in local Salmon fishing. Hoochies, a squid-like artificial, come in several sizes: “plankton,” “squirt,” and “hoochie.” These should always be used with a flasher.
In cooler months, you might troll with squirts or hoochies for smaller Chinook in water 120-150 feet deep. You can also target saltwater Coho close to the surface by trolling spoons and hoochies, usually in deep water. This method will bring you Sockeye and Pink Salmon in late summer.
Fly Fishing
You can target northern Coho in the fall using a fly rod to cast a lightly weighted bucktail 12-20 feet behind a moving boat. This method (known as “bucktailing”) combines saltwater fly fishing with trolling. You can also troll a weighted or unweighted streamer fly close to the surface. For best results, troll at 5-8 knots and keep an eye out for the wake from a charging fish.
Bucktailing calls for a 8.5-9’ fly rod and a 6-8 weight line. The rod should have a long extension handle and a Salmon fly reel that can hold 600 yards of 8 lb test monofilament.
While fly fishing for Salmon in the rivers, try casting below the areas where Salmon usually spawn, using egg or minnow patterns. This tactic calls for a 4-weight fly rod, a floating line, and strike indicators.
Salmon (Chinook)

Salmon (Chinook)

  • Size 10-50 lbs
  • Food Value Excellent
  • Game Qualities Good
  • Habitats Inshore, Lake, River, Nearshore

British Columbia Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Seasons

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Salmon (Chinook) fishing in British Columbia varies slightly throughout the year. High season is May to October. Low season is January to April and November to December. There is no closed season.

What People Are Saying About Salmon (Chinook) Fishing in British Columbia

"Full Day w/Al!"

Suzanne Doughty fished with Top Rods Guide Service - Sooke on August 25, 2019

Decided to do a different type of Team Building experience and we landed on a day full of fishing! Al was patient & accommodating to a larger group; We went home with lots of Salmon & Crabs! Thinking this needs to be a yearly activity :)

"Half Day Salmon Fishing Trip"

Carol T fished with Bon Chovy Fishing Charters on August 21, 2019

Great experience and had a lot of actions because our professional captain was able to bring us to the right spots. Salmon Fishing is very different from our previous fishing experience. Highly recommended.

"Half day trip with Catain Tory"

Arthur Bachet fished with Goin Coastal Fishing Charters on August 15, 2018

Captain Tory took me out to the fishing grounds and set up the gear.He gave me instructions on what to do and within minutes we had a 20 lb plus Salmon on the boat, what an awesome experience. Not long after that we hooked our 2nd fish and we were done, while other boats were still fishing. I would definely recommend using Going Coastal to anyone and would go out with Captain Tory again.

"Half day with captain Mike"

Adrian Lynch fished with Highroller Charters - Ucluelet on July 2, 2018

Fantastic Fishing 5 Salmon Andes in the Boat :)

"Half-day Trip with Captain Carmen"

Jon Brazier fished with Tofino Saltwater Sports on June 16, 2018

My two boys and I had a wonderful time fishing off the coast with Captain Carmen, maxing out our limits on Chinook Salmon and Halibut on our half day trip. Carmen was a pleasure to be with, and went out of her way to make sure everything went smoothly, and successfully. We're looking forward to fishing with her again the next time we visit Vancouver Island's West Coast!

"May fishing trip"

Edward Nickerson fished with Reel Time Fishing Charters Nanaimo on May 14, 2018

Great trip. Captain Turk knows where the fish are biting. We caught our Chinook Salmon limit. Enjoyed the Salmon fishing and Captain Turk's company.

Fish Species Similar to Salmon (Chinook) in British Columbia

Salmon (Coho)

Salmon (Coho)

Salmon (Pink)

Salmon (Pink)

Salmon (Chum)

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Salmon (Sockeye)

Salmon (Sockeye)

British Columbia
Based on 16,072 reviews by FishingBooker anglers